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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
The Pentagon is going to sell about 200 Patriot missiles worth about $900 million to Kuwait. The goal is to build up anti-missile systems in the Persian Gulf. The Associated Press's Anne Flaherty writes, the initiative is aimed at defending Gulf allies against potential Iranian missile strikes and to signal to Tehran that any aggression would not go unanswered. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that it had notified Congress of the proposed sale. Congress could object but is not expected to do so.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is recommending the elimination of the U.S. Joint Forces Command. That command is one of DoD's ten combatant commands and recently believed to play a key role in transforming the U.S. military's capabilities. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the command oversees a force of more than 1.16 million men and women. The command is comprised of active and reserve personnel from each branch of the armed forces, civil servants and contract employees. The commander oversees the command's four major mission areas: Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, Joint Training, Joint Capabilities Development, and Joint Force Provider.
The Pentagon is demanding that online whistle-blower WikiLeaks return its trove of tens of thousands of leaked U.S. government documents and delete them from its website and records. The Associated Press reports Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell didn't say what efforts the Defense Department might be able to take to compel Wikileaks to comply. He told a Pentagon press conference that, at this point, the Pentagon is asking Wikileaks "to do the right thing." Wikileaks posted nearly 77,000 classified military and other documents, mostly raw intelligence reports from Afghanistan, on its website July 25.
1500 people are dead in Pakistan because of flooding. The Pentagon is dispatching several helicopters from Afghanistan to help transport relief supplies and refugees in flood-ravaged Pakistan. Four CH-47 Chinooks Two UH-60 Black Hawks will be sent over. Bad weather hindered their arrival yesterday, but they are expected to begin their missions today. Pakistan has repeatedly rejected, at least publicly as U.S. military presence in Pakistan, but in cases like this the government has proven to be very receptive.
Is the program to kill or capture terrorists working? A New York Times report seems to show some evidence it is. According to the NYT, American intelligence reporting has recently revealed growing examples of Taliban fighters who are fearful of moving into higher-level command positions because of these lethal operations.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. to protect any individuals who might be at risk after the Wikileaks War Dairies leaks. He also said the military was reviewing its rules for safeguarding classified information. He called it a "mountain of raw data" that didn't shed new light on U.S. policy but he and experts say it could help the Taliban Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen said that Wikileaks "might already have on their hands the blood of a young soldier or that of an Afghan family."
Difficult but the war in Afghanistan can succeed. The words of Richard Holbrook, the top U.S envoy in Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday before Congress at an oversight hearing on money being spent on the nine year old war in Afghanistan. Lawmakers expressed concern about corruption that's eaten up millions of dollars. Holbrooke said this is the toughest job he's ever had.
The Defense Department says an investigation has identified dozens of members of the military and defense contractors that have allegedly obtained child pornography. Many of those involved are said to have access to top secret information. Some of those implicated to are connected to the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency. The Boston Globe first reported the story after obtaining documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Some have already been prosecuted.
The Afghan Taliban leadership is facing more pressure from the U.S. The U.S. Treasury Department will freeze the militants' assets, ban travel and trigger an arms embargo. It follows similar action by the United Nations earlier this week, and comes after calls from Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Afghanistan. the U.S. and U.N. sanctions prohibit any financial transactions of the terror leaders in U.N. member countries, putting additional pressure on Pakistan to take broader actions against the Taliban militants.
The Pentagon is feed up with leaks. "Over the last two years I've lost a first rate central command commander, and an outstanding commander of ISAF in Afghanistan due to their own missteps in dealing with the media, says Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. He adds' "if you're a Captain in a unit that has an embedded reporter", be as open as possible within the guidelines and rules, but "if you're a Captain working in this building on budget options, I expect you to keep your mouth shut."